08 May 2023
 | 08 May 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WES.

Electrostatic discharge impacts on the main shaft bearings of wind turbines

Jian Zhao, Xiangdong Xu, and Ola Carlson

Abstract. This paper studies the electrostatic discharge effect in wind turbines, a possible trigger source of main bearing current. A lab setup with a charge generator and downsized wind turbine was built to verify the impact of electrostatic discharge on the main bearing current. In the test, a fatal amplitude for the bearing current was found at only -93 mV driven voltage on the shaft. Compared with the common mode voltage driven bearing current, the electrostatic discharge effect triggers the bearing breakdown at a lower shaft voltage but much higher bearing current amplitude. The results demonstrate that the electrostatic discharge effect is a pattern of bearing current in wind turbines and is much more dangerous to the bearing.

Jian Zhao et al.

Status: open (until 07 Jun 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wes-2023-46', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 May 2023 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on wes-2023-46', Anonymous Referee #2, 31 May 2023 reply

Jian Zhao et al.

Jian Zhao et al.


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Short summary
The wind turbine's main bearing and its replacement are extremely costly. However, the main bearing is found electrically burned after a few years of operation. In this paper, a new pattern of bearing breakdown mechanism electrostatic discharge (ESD) induced bearing current is studied. The analysis and test results prove that the ESD effect in wind turbines is a non-negligible source of the main shaft bearing current in wind turbines.